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Endocrinology

Endocrinology is a branch of biology and medicine dealing with the endocrine system, its diseases, and its specific secretions called hormones, the integration of developmental events such as proliferation, growth, and differentiation (including histogenesisand organogenesis) and the coordination of metabolism, respiration, excretion, movement,reproduction, and sensory perceptiondepend on chemical cues, substances synthesized and secreted by specialized cells.

Endocrinology is concerned with the study of the biosynthesis, storage, chemistry, and physiological function of hormonesand with the cells of the endocrine glands and tissues that secrete them.

Hormones act by binding to specific receptorsin the target organ. As Baulieunotes, a receptor has at least two basic constituents:

  • A recognition site, to which the hormone binds
  • An effector site, which precipitates the modification of cellular function.

Although every organ system secretes and responds to hormones (including the brain, lungs, heart, intestine, skin, and thekidney), the clinical specialty of endocrinology focuses primarily on the endocrine organs, meaning the organs whose primary function is hormone secretion. These organs include the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes, and pancreas.

An endocrinologistis a doctorwho specializes in treating disorders of the endocrine system, such as diabetes,hyperthyroidism, and many others .